Skip to main content

Pakistan quake death toll rises to 356

From Sophia Saifi, for CNN
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
A girl walks past the remnants of a house in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on Thursday, September 26. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on September 24 in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan. A girl walks past the remnants of a house in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on Thursday, September 26. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on September 24 in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan.
HIDE CAPTION
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two rockets are fired at a military helicopter taking officials to the quake zone
  • More than 600 people have been injured by the powerful quake, a local official says
  • Survivors are having to cope with high temperatures and a lack of drinking water
  • Authorities say about 21,000 houses have been destroyed

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The death toll from the strong earthquake that struck southwestern Pakistan this week has risen to 356 as rescue workers struggle to reach victims, authorities said Thursday.

Further complicating relief efforts, two rockets were fired at -- and missed -- a military helicopter on its way to the quake zone.

The number of people injured has climbed to 619, said Jan Muhammad Buledi, a spokesman for the government of Balochistan, the province where the quake hit. Authorities estimate that 21,000 houses have been destroyed.

The 7.7-magnitude earthquake took place Tuesday in a remote, sparsely populated area of Balochistan. Rescue efforts are under way in the heavily hit districts of Awaran and Kech.

Hundreds killed in Pakistan earthquake
Did quake cause island to appear?

Images from the scene have shown buildings reduced to rubble. More people are feared to be trapped under the wreckage, authorities say, suggesting the death toll could rise.

The remoteness of the affected area and damaged communications networks are hindering the rescue operation.

Officials say some areas remain inaccessible, preventing them from getting a full picture of the scale of the damage.

Meanwhile, thousands of survivors in need of assistance after the quake are having to cope with high temperatures, a lack of drinking water and little in the way of shelter.

October is the hottest month in Balochistan and the region is in a perpetual state of drought, said Muhammad Hanif, the director of the National Weather Forecasting Center. Temperatures in Awaran and Kech have reached 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit).

Helicopter attacked

The Pakistani military has deployed more than 1,000 troops to help with rescue and relief efforts

The troops are entering a difficult region. Militants fighting for a separate state in Balochistan operate out of part of Awaran district, which has been the site of bombings.

The potential threat was underlined Thursday when two rockets were fired at an army helicopter ferrying the chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority to the earthquake zone, a military official said.

The rockets missed the helicopter as it flew over the narrow Mashki Valley on its way to Awaran, said Brig. Muhammad Abdur Raheem, an army spokesman in Balochistan.

The helicopter was carrying Maj. Gen. Muhammad Saeed Aleem, the National Disaster Management Authority chairman, as well as staff officers and two members of the local news media, Raheem said. All those who were aboard are safe, he added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the failed attack.

Pakistani officials have said the quake was powerful enough to cause the appearance of a small mud island a few kilometers off the country's coast in the Arabian Sea. But some overseas scientists have questioned whether the island was the direct result of the earthquake.

Measuring the magnitude of earthquakes

CNN's Saima Mohsin in Islamabad contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 9:22 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 11:56 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT